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Eli Lake

Syria's 'Army of Islam' Says It Wants No War With Israel

The leader of a major Islamist militia says the enemy is Assad, not the Zionists.
Army of one, for Allah.

Army of one, for Allah.

Photographer: Abd Doumany/AFP/Getty Images

There was a time when you could count on hard-core Sunni Islamists in the Middle East to be reliably opposed to the existence of the Jewish state. Organizations ranging from the Muslim Brotherhood to al-Qaeda disagreed on everything from jurisprudence to short-term strategy, but when it came to Israel there was consensus.

The slaughter in Syria is changing that. Take, for example, Jaish al-Islam, a Syrian coalition of rebels whose name translates conveniently to "Army of Islam." Mohammed Alloush, the political leader of the group, Wednesday told me his fighters did not seek war with Israel.